Release DetailsRELEASED ON 1/15/2013
GENRES Black,Retro Classic
The project’s moniker—a tribute to the fabled first pressing of Bathory’s debut album—is a none-too-sly allusion to the primitive violence within. This is sleazy, simplistic stuff.
The Yellowgoat Sessions
So...what exactly are we supposed to call this thing?
Joel Grind's Yellowgoat? That makes it sound like the band broke up into two rival factions, with the Joel Grind's Yellowgoat incarnation facing litigation from the "true" Yellowgoat while they trot the casino circuit. This is a solo project, so...that would be dumb. And impossible.
Just plain ol’ Yellowgoat? I mean, the album cover and logo project the image of this being a "band," but everyone knows that marketing a fresh entity is a tough slog, especially when it's far easier to slap the known name of the creator in front of it. Plus, it'd be kind of redundant for a project called Yellowgoat to put out an album called The Yellowgoat Sessions. So...that's out.
Confusion sucks. We’re pretty sure that this is being referred to as Joel Grind solo album, so we'll roll with that. Mr. Grind has (modestly) hyped The Yellowgoat Sessions as something of a roots-wrangling project, a throwback to rawer, simpler compositions that predate the current incarnation of his main outlet, Toxic Holocaust. He’s true to his word. Yellowgoat (ugh, I think I fucked it up already...) is a hell of a lot gnarlier and nastier than anything TH has ripped through in recent times.
The project’s moniker—a tribute to the fabled first pressing of Bathory’s debut album—is a none-too-sly allusion to the primitive violence within. This is sleazy, simplistic stuff. Each song is little more than an exploration of a single idea or riff, with little regard for vocal hooks or dynamics. The songs of The Yellowgoat Sessions rest intentionally beneath Grind’s typical acumen; he buries himself in a blissfully retarded rut somewhere under Midnight-with-a-lobotomy, and the results are inexplicably brilliant.
Each song is a character unto itself. Some fare better than others. The total Hellhammer trip of “Black Order” is among the most satisfying…
…not only because it’s built on gut-churning riffery and shitgrinning beats, but because of its loving, leathery authenticity. Yellowgoat’s speedier numbers are the most effective: See the Venomous trips “Hell’s Master of Hell” and “Hail to Cruelty” and the almost-thrash of “Cross Damnation” for proof that Grind’s boisterousness amplifies as the BPMs increase. (When he gets all “Call From the Grave” up in this bish and slows himself to a crawl, the momentum follows suit. Maximum velocity = maximum fun.)
In short, Yellowgoat is at its best when it rocks like a bastard. Thankfully, Joel Grind has the whole “rocking like a bastard” thing down pretty well, and for a whimsical vanity project, Yellowgoat has been blessed with some wickedly stout legs. Sure, it’s prone to an occasional stumble, but that’s part of the charm: an established artist bangin' like he’s bedroomin’ again.
Now, cynics might note that this whole proto-extremity thing is starting to catch a bit of steam in the underground (the aforementioned Midnight, Chapel, etc.), and that Yellowgoat might be Joel Grind’s trapdoor escape from the passé re-thrash scene in which Toxic Holocaust has become so entrenched. This is certainly plausible. It's also unlikely.
Some metalheads reach a point in their lives where they begin to dig for the things that triggered the initial itch. This reversion to the essence is actually quite logical, especially for thirty-something thrash dudes. Gradually, you lose interest in the circle pit beerspray—endurance becomes an issue, as does tolerance for the chug—and you gotta do something in those nebulous fifteen years before you wander into dad-thrash / Testament territory. Eric Peterson already did the mid-life Dimmu-crisis thing, so why not revisit the roots?
If you have the turn back the clock to move forward, so be it. Yellowgoat is an infectious, spring-loaded step backwards. Can’t wait for the slingshot.